According to legend the Amazons were a race of beautiful, athletic and fierce warriors. Their origin dates back to the union of Ares, the god of war, and Otrera, the daughter of the East Wind.
The Amazons worshipped Ares and Artemis, the virgin goddess of the wilds and twin sister of Apollo. Artemis was most revered in Ephesus where Otrera and her daughters, Penthesilea and Hippolyta, founded the famous Temple of Artemis, which was recognized as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Wonder Woman was the creation of Dr. William Moulton Marston who based her on two of the women in his life, his wife Elizabeth Holloway and his administrative assistant Olive Byrne. He wanted to give the girls a role model who was as brave, strong, and intelligent. Her beauty and skills would rival those of Superman.
It was in December, 1941 that All Star Comics #8 introduced Wonder Woman, an Amazon Princess. This 8-page story in the back of the comic was to see whether the comic-reading kids and GIs would accept a woman heroine. They did, and three issues later Wonder Woman joined the Justice Society. Since she was a woman, the secretarial duties of the Society were assigned to her. No male superhero could be a secretary.
One of the weapons which Diana possessed was the lasso of truth, a golden rope which, when encircling a person, would make them tell the whole truth when questioned. This device was concocted by Marston and his wife, Elizabeth, based on their research on blood pressure readings which would indicate if someone was lying or being truthful.
Her arm bracelets protected her from gunfire and other projectiles. They could be used for defense and attack.
Besides comics, Wonder Woman has appeared in the cartoon series Super Friends and its various incarnations, Justice League, a TV movie, a live action TV series, and recently in the DC Universe films.
In the Justice League: The New Frontier she is depicted as a superhero who was tired of the injustice done to women and took the law into her own hands to give them justice. She and Superman had an argument about her methods, and he is horrified by her actions.
In 2009 Wonder Woman was given her own DC animated film which told the story of her life on Themyscira (Paradise Island) and the crash landing of an American, Steve Trevor. Princess Diana is a young woman in this film.
Themyscira was the island where the Amazons relocated after it was unsafe for them to be on the mainland because of men’s relentless pursue. The island, like the mystical Avalon of the Arthurian legends, was shrouded with a magical cloak which made the island undetectable.
During Smallville’s ten-year run there was talk about Princess Diana making an appearance. Unfortunately, the Wonder Woman character was being seriously considered for a movie under Joss Wheldon in 2007; however, true to the nature of Warner and DC the project fell by the wayside. http://screenrant.com/joss-whedon-wonder-woman-sandy-139177/
In 2010 David E. Kelley did a pilot for a Wonder Woman series on NBC starring Adrianne Palicki. NBC decided not to proceed.
Now, the CW is considering Amazon, the story of Princess Diana in her formative years on Themyscira. It sounds like Smallville.
Now, the Justice League movie is being tossed about once again by DC and Warner. However, the success of Marvel’s Avengers under Joss Wheldon’s deft hand was due in part to Iron Man, Thor, Hulk and Captain America having their own films with their origin stories before they joined up with S.H.I.E.L.D.
“Aw, that’s girl’s stuff!” snorts our young comics’ reader. “Who wants to be a girl?” And that’s the point. Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” William Marston, THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR, 1943
Wonder Woman has seen many reincarnations since William Marston. Let’s hope that in the years to come she will live up to the ideals of Marston’s creation.
Gal Gadot: Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot was born on April 30, 1985 in Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel. She is an actress, known for Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Fast Five (2011) and Fast & Furious (2009).
G. D. Williams © 2012 / 2014
Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors
Adrianne Palicki: TV New Face of Wonder Woman
DC / Warner
Wonder Woman TV Series 1975-1978